Vehicle Miles Driven Says It All About The Ongoing Economic Contraction
Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives
The Depart of Transportation’s Federal Highway Commission has released the latest report on Traffic Volume Trends, data through January. Travel on all roads and streets changed by 1.6% (3.5 billion vehicle miles) for January 2012 as compared with January 2011. The 12-month moving average increased by 0.10%, which is the second month of increase after nine consecutive months of decline (PDF report).
Here is a chart that illustrates this data series from its inception in 1970. I’m plotting the “Moving 12-Month Total on ALL Roads,” as the DOT terms it. See Figure 1 in the PDF report, which charts the data from 1987. My start date is 1971 because I’m incorporating all the available data from the DOT spreadsheets.